Learn to Play

We at WPIHA welcome all ice hockey enthusiasts, young and old, to try-out for this wonderful sport. Normally only seen on American and European Television, now offered right here in Cape Town at the Grand West Ice Station. Here are some Questions and Answers to help you getting started playing ice hockey:

So how do we get started?

Starting ice hockey is rather simple, BUT you do need to know how to skate (without holding onto the barriers), dont worry about skating backwards so much as our panel of internationally experienced coaches can help with those advanced skills. Basically, all you need to do is come down to the rink on a trial day (Sunday mornings from 08:00), make sure you fill in the forms (Download them here, print them, fill out and bring them with). When you arrive at the rink you will meet up with someone from the friendly committee that will take your forms and R60 for the session, they will then help you get some gear that you will need to skate in the beginner practice that takes place from 08:30 - 09:45.

Who is able to play ice hockey?

Anyone from the age 6 and up, boys and girls. As long as you are keen to learn how to play ice hockey, then you can be an ice hockey player in no time.

How much does it cost to play?

Our sales pitch is,"Alot less than you may think" but the facts are "from R260 per month". The cost is R2400pa for Under12's and R3000pa for 13 and older players. That fee includes your registration fee to the SA governing body.

When are practice times?

If you are a beginner then you will generally be playing on Sunday mornings from 08:30 - 10:00 until your skills have been honed and we can allocate you to one of the various teams. Peewee players (12 and under) practice and play their league games on Sundays from 08:30 - 11:00 and older players will practice also on Sunday mornings but games will be played on Monday nights from 18:30. MONDAY NIGHT IS HOCKEY NIGHT!!!

Is ice hockey dangerous and where do I get all the equipment from?

Ice hockey is actually a safe sport, as during training sessions players are learnt skills such as powerskating, body contact (how to give and take contact on the ice) and how to play this fast paced sport safely. Players do have ample kit to protect themselves but accidents do happen and players should always be aware to play the sport within the rules of the game. To get your hands on decent equipment we do have a couple options for you (either quality 2nd hand equipment or new imported gear) and you can speak to our fearless leader, Jason Cerff (click his name to email him).

As a player and or parent, what can we expect?

First things first, as a parent you will be able to enjoy games and practices from the cumfort of the rink seating (this is a nice way of saying that you are not allowed to stand next to the boards, hanging over and interfere during practice). There are various reasons for this, mainly due to the security and safety of yourself (that puck is a dangerous weapon to by-standers) and to ensure that skaters pay solid attention to instruction taking place on the ice from trained professionals.
As a new hockey player you will be welcomed on the ice and allowed some time to get your footing before you are put through some basic skating and puck control tests. This is where we gauge your immediate skills and allocate you into various groups where your skills will be honed.
Our panel is coaches range from Gold medalists as both player and coach at IIHF World Championships to Figure skating world championship coaches. This allows us to handle and teach every aspect of the game to kids, teenagers and adults.
The practice is generally divided up into sections where personal skills are developed, partner work is introduced (passing / receiving / hockey sense) and we always like to add some actual game play where the essence of the game is introduced in Small Area Games.

When can I play games?

Once you have registered, are on the ice for regular practices in full equipment you will then be evaluated and allocated to a team. You can then start playing games. You will have a bench coach and bench manager that will assist with game scedules, learning the rules, learning team systems, etc.

Anything else that I should know?

Yes, ice hockey is the greatest sport on earth and if it were easy, they would call it rugby :)